Kia Ora to you all,

Week 5 of Term 2 and it is all go!!  Yesterday afternoon, the Prime Minister announced that New Zealand will move into Alert Level 2 from 11.59pm on Wednesday 13th May and that means from Thursday 14th May Alert Level 2 criteria will apply.

All schools, Wainui School included will be officially open for children to attend on Monday 18th May.  We must be mindful that the lockdown has been longer than any summer break.  The COVID-19 lockdown was 7 weeks in total by Monday and we are well aware this will bring many feelings of anxiety about returning to school.

We know many students will be excited about getting back to see friends and returning to their studies in the classroom with their teacher, while some may be anxious or detached from their learning.  Some will need time to transition, some won’t, we know for many the connections daily online with the teachers have served to connect the children to learning and the classroom.  If you are worried about the transition back, please let the teacher know as we are always here to support you and your child.

The first piece of information we need from you is, are you returning to school on Monday 18th May?  Please inform the classroom teacher of your intentions.  Please bring any school devices you have been using back and any books and support material we may have lent you.

Moving Forward in COVID-19 to Level 2 – We will now create a “New Normal” for Level 2.  There are a few things to organise now and we will have a clear set of procedures in place on Thursday in a very short newsletter, but here are some things to start to talk about now.

  1. New Normal – school will start at 9.00am not 8.55am and finish at 3.00pm not 2.55pm. 
  2. Drop off, please “Kiss and Go”, unless you are a brand New Entrant – we will organise this process with you directly. 
  3. A staff member will be at the roundabout to greet you and ask if your child is well. If the answer is yes, they will come on in.
  4. The gate will be closed at 9.05am so all latecomers will need to ring the office to be let onto the school grounds.
  5. Let the teacher know if there are any well-being issues we need to help and support with when we welcome you back.
  6. Safe and sensible hygiene practice means washing hands, please make sure you prepare your child for lots of hands washing and sanitising, practice at home, talk about this at home!!
  7. Good coughing and sneezing etiquette practiced at home will help and it will be taught and reinforced at school.
  8. Maintaining physical distance where possible. This is the biggest change for schools as there is no minimum requirement and it will mean staff and children will maintain a distance that is not breathing on or touching each other.  This challenge will be taught and expected at school. It is harder for younger ones, but we have experience now with a few at the moment and they are good at following directions and most of the time are very good at this. Please help prepare children at home.
  9. Contact Tracing is paramount – we must have correct contact phone numbers and addresses for all families, both parents.

We know who everyone is and we can support and help people on-site to be healthy and safe. There will be increased hand sanitiser on-site and there will be increased cleaning of surfaces, door handles, and keyboards that are shared.

Lastly, I am sharing some correspondence that has made me smile, and even laugh.  Kay’s message to me yesterday after the announcement was “I can hang my chalk up! Brilliant news!!”

Thank you to Jenna Marshall for your message of congratulations, we all appreciated it so much. I have a wonderful photo of home learning from one of our brand new five year old’s Chloe Marshall!!  How cool is this!!

We have even managed to start a new class of 5 year old’s under COVID-19 restrictions and connect everyone to school.  Who would have ever thought that we could have done that. Once again, we thank you all for your input and your learning to use the online platforms in helping to engage the children in online learning.

We look forward to welcoming everyone back and everything going to plan on Monday 18th May.

Nga mihi nui